This an extremely important topic to explore with young women because of the emphasis on caring as a woman’s role.
Activity 1 – Ask the individuals to write down five things that make them feel good and five things they are good at (this will probably include one caring role).
Activity 2 – Draw around a member of the group on some flip chart paper. Inside the body, the young women put post-it notes of things that make them feel good and then, outside the body, post-its of the things they are good at. When finished, discuss the notes as a group.
Key question for the facilitator to ask;
1) Are there any similarities between feeling good and things they are good at, and if so why?
2) Are there any role expectations, and if so what?
3) What are the factors that influence young women and girls to feel valued and able?
4) What are the factors that lead young women and girls to feel valued and unable?
Discuss links between the answers found and the expectations society places on women, e.g. carer, mother, wife and the consequences of not fulfilling these roles. Stress the importance of informed choice.
Activity 3 – Who cares for you? Using a target outline get the young women to draw a picture of their carers in their lives. In the middle of the target put the main carer in their lives. Moving from the middle out, put other carers in. Talk about whether these are men or women and what roles they play.
Activity 4 – Having introduced the idea that all young women have been socialised ‘to care’…
Ice breaker – people say their name plus the first memory of a caring role or responsibility. Ask the young women what was the first incident of their caring role or responsibility? Discuss how this made them feel and whether it was choice or imposition.
Activity 5 – Using the previous incident in activity 4, create a role-play of the young people’s first caring role, or current primary caring role. Ask them to highlight five points in their role-play where they are socialised (conditioned by their friends, family or society) to do the caring role. Ask the young women if the young men they know are conditioned in the same way, and if not, why not. Stress the importance of informed choice. After the discussion, repeat the role play with informed choice then highlight and discuss any changes made to the situation in the role play.
Activity 6 – Use visual aids to prompt discussion on the role of the media in liberating and confining. Show a range of images and decide whether they are liberating or confining imagery and why. For example, you could google:
· Jackie Flemming cartoons
· Jo Spence images
· 1950’s soap powder ads
Activity 7 – Ask the young women to research statistics on the internet about who cares for different people e.g. how many stay at home mothers are there compared to stay at home men? How many women nurses? How many women volunteers compared with men? Ask the young women to suggest why there is a difference.
Activity 8 – Get the young people to create a wordsearch of people and things they care for.